Films I Saw in July 2020

Films I Saw is a self explanatory monthly column dedicated to cataloging each and every film I saw within that month. Each film will be given a grade and a mini review.

Jul. 1—The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019)

What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician – “The Amazing Johnathan” – becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion. Documentarian Benjamin Berman quickly realizes that he’s not the only one making a film about The Amazing Johnathan. In fact, he’s not even the first one who was hired to make the film. So, what starts off as simple film chronicling the life of a world famous magician and his struggles with his deteriorating health, becomes this meta joke on the documentarian as he tries to make sense of his situation.

It’s a bizarre story who’s point is unclear to me. I don’t understand the point to any of this. Is the joke on him? On me? I don’t know and I don’t think Berman knows either. It feels like being at a party surrounded by people constantly telling in jokes between each other. I want to laugh because the punchlines sound funny but since I don’t understand the set up, I’m kept at arm’s length.

Grade: C

Jul. 2—Hail Satan! (2019)

A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple. Forget what you think you know about satanists. They aren’t the creepy boogeyman who steal the souls of virgins, they’re not goat sacrificing heathens who have blood orgies in the woods and they’re definitely not as wicked or powerful as Christians want you to believe. They’re actually an anti-religious political group who battle to separate church and state. That’s all. Through a combination of shock tactics and anti-discrimination lawsuits, The Satanic Temple are one of the only groups actively fighting against America creeping towards a Christian theocracy. This documentary hilariously captures the absurd amount of red tape they have to go through to fight for equality, as well as showing the insane end of the spectrum in the form of some of their extreme ex members. It’s a wild story that never tries to convert you, it just aims to inform and entertain, both of which it does both extremely well.

Grade: B+

Jul. 3—Mississippi Grind (2015)

Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost. I don’t want to accuse this film of stealing anything from California Split because it doesn’t (Mendelsohn getting stabbed in the parking lot is very reminiscent of a scene in that film but that’s as close as It gets) but fuck is it similar. It’s so similar, that it’s hard for me to judge this film objectively or without bias. Because it’s not California Split.

It wants to be but it’s not. So, and I know this isn’t the film’s fault, but since I’m constantly reminded of that film, I’m thinking about it  and since I’m thinking about it, I’m not really thinking about this film. Mendelson and Reynolds are great and they have great chemistry together but unfortunately they’re stuck in a film I can’t truly appreciate because all I see is the film it so desperately wants to be. If you haven’t seen that film and love these actors, or even like films about gambling, I recommend it but if you have, you most likely will be in the same boat as I am.

Grade: C

Jul. 4—Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me might have the greatest poster in film history. The image of the shish kebab going into that guys mouth is as gruesome as it is indelible. I remember seeing that poster on the wall of every rental store not named Blockbuster for years and years. It definitely left an impression on me and made me want to watch it and now having finally seen it, I love the poster even more. Because the film is nowhere near as good as that poster.

It writes a check that film can’t possibly cash, which makes that image all the more powerful. It got me to watch a film I most likely never would have and it does so without lying. There is a shish kabob death in this movie. It’s not great but it does happen. In fact, almost all the deaths are lame but they’re frequent and all that story bullshit that happens before and after one of them happens aren’t boring. It’s an entertaining slasher with a bonkers finale that might stick with you as long as the poster and that’s saying something.

Grade: C+

Jul. 5—Killer Party (1986)

Tasked with throwing a killer party as part of their initiation, three sorority pledges pick an abandoned fraternity house as the site of their drunken soiree but unbeknownst to them, it’s haunted by the ghost of some guy who wants revenge for something. That’s not just me getting bored with the synopsis, I truly don’t know who the ghost is supposed to be or why he’s trying to kill everyone. The film does an extremely piss poor job explaining his backstory, which makes it’s opening all the more baffling.

Instead of starting the film depicting his tragic origins, like most films would do, it instead decides to pull not one but two fake out openings. Granted they’re both fun but neither has anything to do with the film and probably should’ve been cut in favor of some proper setup. But the ghosts motivations (or lack thereof) are far from the films only problems. The characters are bland, the pace is excruciatingly slow and all the kills are bloodless. This party is all filler, no killer.

Grade: D

Jul. 6—April Fool’s Day (1986)

A group of eight college friends gather together at an island mansion belonging to heiress Muffy St. John to celebrate their final year of school. They soon discover that each has a hidden secret from their past which is revealed, and soon after, they turn up dead. The only thing this film is known for is its twist and how horrible it is. The problem with the twist, which I won’t reveal, is that it robs the film of any substance. It’s that same level of pointlessness as the clichéd “it was all a dream” ending.

It could’ve worked if they pulled the rug out from under the audience like twenty minutes earlier and then introduced another threat or twist to give the film at least some sort of satisfactory ending. The game Until Dawn is a perfect example. It has the exact same twist as this film but builds on top of the twist to provide a constant level of surprise for the gamer. I appreciate that they wanted to do something different but they could’ve executed it a bit better.

Grade: C

Jul. 7—Grunt! The Wrestling Movie (1985)

After accidentally beheading his opponent during a match, former champion “Mad Dog” Joe DeCurso retires never to be seen again. Three years later, a mysterious new wrestler known as The Mask arrives out of nowhere and a documentary crew sets out to discover whether or not it is, in fact, “Mad Dog” Joe DeCurso. Since I didn’t like this film at all, giving it anything other than an F seems baffling but since it: A) didn’t piss me off enough for me to hate it and B) at the very least accomplished what it set out to do, it gets a slight pass. It’s a terrible mockumentary set in the world of wrestling that doesn’t provide a single laugh nor does it include a single second of good wrestling footage but it’s not lying to you or trying to trick you into thinking it’s something else and it’s certainly not a cash grab. It is exactly what it says it is and does exactly what it says it’s going to do. Which means I can’t get mad at it for wasting my time. Just like the frog who died picking up the scorpion in that old Aesop fable — I knew what it was when I picked it up.

Grade: D-

Jul. 8—Dark Age (1987)

A park ranger (John Jarratt) is tasked with dealing with a killer crocodile that appears to have a spiritual connection with the local Aboriginals. Quentin Tarantino once said about this film, “you release this film today, without changing a scene and it would be a hit” and as much as I love his enthusiasm and as much as I love that he wants to champion this film, he’s wrong. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad movie but it’s far from exciting. There’s very little crocodile action and the crocodile itself kinda looks like dogshit but there is a great scene involving a little kid (spoiler alert: the crocodile totally eats a kid) and the concept is a compelling one. What if, instead of trying to kill the shark in Jaws, the main characters tried saving it all while the rest of the town was trying to kill it? It’s a different take on the animal attack genre and while I appreciate it doing something different, it’s far too slow for its own good.

Grade: C

Jul. 9—Slipstream (1989)

Steven Lisberger has directed two sci-fi films and both are among the most overwritten, overstuffed and confusing things I’ve ever seen. Tron lost me immediately and while I was with this one for about five minutes, it, too, proved to be just as confounding. Bill Paxton steals Mark Hamill’s bounty (an android) and takes him to some place for some reason and the slipstream is air currents and F Murray Abraham shows up for no fucking reason and there’s a love story kinda and Hamill disappears for like half the movie and it’s just dumb as fuck. Once Paxton kidnapped the android (for reasons that were never made clear), I was lost and I continued being lost till I killed myself from boredom. I am a ghost now. A ghost who’s cursed to forever roam the halls of the internet, whispering “sliiiiipssstreeeam” to all those who think about watching this because I’m a lame ghost and this is a terribly lame movie and I’m over this bit.

Grade: F+

Jul. 10—True Crime (1994)

Do you like Lifetime movies? Do you enjoy low stakes murder mysteries that are so predictable, anyone on Earth could figure them out? Do you think Alicia Silverstone is a good actress and are you a fan of her work? Do you have an overwhelming need to watch every direct-to-video film released in the 90s? Can you look at Kevin Dillion’s face for more than fifteen seconds without wanting to punch your tv and then yourself in the face? If you answered yes to any of these questions, True Crime might be the film for you. And depending on which ones you said yes to, you might be a crazy person.

Like a legit lunatic with terrible taste in garbage. Because in order to like True Crime, a film that no one should ever like, let alone watch, you have to like the individual elements that make up True Crime and they’re all terrible. There’s a popular belief that every film is someone’s favorite film but I call bullshit. Among the 8 billion people on Earth, not a single one of them loves this movie. The only equivalent I can think of is someone claiming that looking at a wall for hours is their favorite activity or that bread crust is their favorite food. This film is like looking at nothing for hours and is as rewarding as crust.

Grade: F

Jul. 11—Cellar Dweller (1988)

You would think a film directed by FX-Artist John Carl Buechler (TrollFriday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood), written by Child’s Play writer Don Mancini and starring Jeffery Combs (Re-Animator) would a bit more well known but time seems to have forgotten about Cellar Dweller. Which I can’t say isn’t at least somewhat deserved due to its quality but honestly, it isn’t any worse than a Ghoulies film and it’s certainly as good as most of the Puppet Master sequels. Years after a comic book artist accidentally draws a demonic entity to life, a completely unrelated comic artist does the exact same thing with similarly disastrous results. The premise isn’t horrible, the creature design isn’t the worst and the kills, while mostly happening off screen, are plentiful. It’s not the worst way to kill a few hours.

Grade: D

Jul. 12—Figures in a Landscape  (1970)

A beautifully shot minimalist thriller, Figures in a Landscape is about two escaped convicts (Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell) who are on the run in an unnamed Latin American country. Everywhere they go, they are hounded by a menacing black helicopter and all around them, enemy soldiers are on the hunt. With the proverbial walls closing in on them, the two men make one last desperate attempt at freedom, whatever the cost. A couple of degrees shy of being a legit nail biter and a few lines short of being an excellent character study, the film occupies a weird middle ground that might be too boring or uneventful for some but I found captivating and a bit suspenseful. Outside of an amazing escape around the half way mark, very little happens in the film but since I love the two lead actors, I was totally engaged. If, like me, you’re a fan of the actors and/or in the mood for a cat and mouse type adventure film, Figures in a Landscape most likely won’t disappoint.

Grade: B

Jul. 13—Cut and Run (1985)

Odds are, no matter how you got to this movie, it left you disappointed. If you found the trailer, you’d think this was a thriller set in the jungle but it really isn’t. If you saw the poster, you’d go in expecting a cat and mouse type action flick with Michael Berryman as the main villain but it’s not that either. And If you’re a fan of Cannibal Holocaust and wanted to see what other hardcore shit Deodato made, you’ll be bored to tears. And it’s not a case of false advertising either.

There is a jungle, people do get hunted by Michael Berryman while in it and there is some action and a moderate amount of thrills, but since it barely dedicates any screentime to any of those things, you’ll most definitely feel ripped off. It’s a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. It teases you with action but never commits, hints at some jungle cannibal shenanigans but doesn’t deliver and tells you point blank that Michael Berryman is going to go crazy on you and it never happens. I don’t know what this film is trying to do or why it was made but I have no use for it.

Grade: D

Jul. 14—1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)

In a post-apocalyptic New York City, a policeman infiltrates the Bronx, which has become a battleground for several murderous street gangs. The only reason I even watched this film, was because I was watching Escape from the Bronx and after learning that that was the sequel to this film, I turned it off to watch this film first and man, that was a mistake. You would think since this film is an insane amalgamation of The Warriors, Escape from New York, and The Road Warrior, that it would be non-stop awesome but it’s only moderately awesome.

Fred Williamson is fun and the various gang costumes are fun and there’s a handful of other things in it that are also fun but it’s just so slow and boring. At a certain point, I stop caring about fun and I just want it to end. I can’t believe I’m saying this but there’s only so many ways for an Italian actor to pretend to be shot and I swear this film has at least fifty examples of each. Guys are constantly falling out of windows or getting blown up or just grabbing their chests and falling over. It’s a lot of cartoon mayhem at the cost of your patience. Depending on how much fun you have and how big your threshold for boredom is, you’ll either dig this a lot or will be left indifferent. I’m the latter.

Grade: C

Jul. 15—Escape from the Bronx  (1983)

Picking up literal seconds after the first film ended, Escape from the Bronx is about a rag-tag group of people who must fight extermination squads amid their ruined city. Like I said in my 1990: The Bronx Warriors write up, I initially started watching this one first but turned it off because I had no idea this was a sequel. You would think the lack of exposition or set up would’ve tipped me off but I just assumed it was eliminating the pointless backstory and was just hitting the ground running. Because it really hits the ground running. It wastes no time doing what the fuck it sets out to do, which is to create a space for non-stop action. The character is on the run, bad guys are after him and he must kill them or die. That’s it. That’s all there is to the plot and honestly, that’s all I want out of an Italian knock off. Watch the first if you want the crazy, watch this one if you want the action.

Grade: B

Jul. 16—Uncle Buck (1989)

Having to babysit for his brother’s kids when an emergency suddenly pops up, Buck — an unemployed degenerate gambler with no people skills — must grow up quick if he’s to survive the younger hellions and the rambunctious teenage daughter. It’s classic tale of an immovable object (the daughter) bumping up against an unstoppable force (Uncle Buck) that predicably ends with both parties coming together over common ground but Hughes and Candy make the film (and character) much better than the clichés the film is littered with. They somehow find new ways to make a character that was old hat long before W.C. Fields ever did it, enduring and lovable. And can we talk about how fucking cute Macaulay Culkin was before Home alone? He evolved into a great child actor but he definitely lost some of this earnest charm. He’s barely camera ready here but he’s so fucking cute, I can’t handle it.

Grade: B

Jul. 17—Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburg (1991)

Tom Savini did the make up effects in this movie. That factoid is easily the most interesting thing about this film and is honestly the only thing it has going for it. And to be clear, I’m not saying the effects themselves are the best thing about this film because while they are impressive, it’s the fact that Savini did them in the first place that’s interesting. It’s almost as confounding as his monster work on a couple of episodes of Ghostwriter.

How did he get involved in these projects. Did he get in deep with some sharks? Was he running low on leather jackets and wanted to restock his supply? The mind boggles. Anywho, the film is about two detectives trying to find a killer who’s targeting prostitutes and something about an undead pharaoh and who gives a shit. It’s a horror comedy that’s extremely reminiscent of Blood Dinner in plot but more like Wacko in terms of its type of comedy. I didn’t think it was good and I definitely didn’t think any of the jokes landed but I will always reward points for at least attempting to do something original. It fails miserably but It’s at least a somewhat original failure.

Grade: D

Jul. 18—Guns Akimbo (2019)

Everyone has a genre of music they hate. Some hate country, others hate rap and some can’t stand jazz but the one thing that everyone can agree on is, that cover bands are the worst. Listening to some 9 to 5 worker drone try and rock out on the weekends is the antithesis of cool. Especially if it’s a punk cover band because punk can’t be covered. There are no successful punk tribute bands. You’re either punk or you’re not. You can’t pretend to be punk. Guns Akimbo is a punk cover band in film form. It so desperately wants to be punk and wants you to think it’s punk but it’s about as punk rock as a Miracle Whip commercial. Every character is insufferable and never reacts like an actual human being would, the editing is vomit inducing, the direction is obnoxious, the acting is negligible, the soundtrack is annoying, the action is subpar and the comedy is groin inducing. It’s worse than bad, it’s embarrassing.

Grade: F+

Jul. 19—Demon is on the Island (1983)

Imagine Maximum Overdrive with way lower stakes and a far crazier explanation behind every electronic device turning evil and you have this movie. Immediately after moving to a small island off the coast of France, a young doctor (Anny Duperey) unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a bizarre scenario in which household electronics suddenly turn murderous. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she eventually unravels a mystery involving an evil doctor, a family secret and an odd boy with strange gifts. While I can’t recommend this film (it’s far too slow and not even remotely scary), there are a handful of scenes that will make you say wtf and there is a scene in a department store that’s legitimately creepy. I don’t know how they got that kid to walk like that but something about his gait tapped into the uncanny valley effect and made my skin crawl.

Grade: D

Jul. 20—After Midnight (2020)

After Midnight would make a terrific companion piece with the film Spring. Unlike that film, which is about a man falling in love with a woman who’s also a monster, this film is about a man who has to deal with a monster that tries to kill him every night, that may or may not be his ex. Like most indie horror films, this is more of a slow burn character study with very little spooks and a lot of on the nose metaphors (the monster is heartbreak! The monster is the baggage of the past that never stops haunting you! The monster is regret!) but since the actors are great (Jeremy Gardener is slowly becoming my favorite lo-fi actor and Henry Zebrowski needs a special shout out for stealing every scene he’s in), I was into it. I will most likely forget about it in a month but right now, I’m digging it.

Grade: C

Jul. 21—Slaughterhouse (1987)

Structurally, I should hate this film. It only really becomes a slasher for the last fifteen minutes or so with the rest of the film being about land disputes and taxes and hillbilly drama but something about the lock step nature of its formula kept me engaged. The film is literally: random guy goes to slaughterhouse to talk to owner of said slaughterhouse about paying his debt, walks around a bit before he finds the owner (or vice versa) and then his big hulking son comes out and kills him. This happens about six times.

Running concurrent to this, is a teen subplot that amounts to absolutely nothing. I mean, they’re there to add more notches to the death count but not a single plot thread the film tries to develop is resolved. That deputy having a fling with that teen girl? That guy constantly getting arrested for speeding tickets? That friend with the nice rack that was clearly hired to get naked? Dropped, who cares and never takes her top off. It’s a bunch of filler to get the main characters to the titular slaughterhouse for the third act climax and I gotta say, the last act kinda delivered. This isn’t a good movie but if your inner gore hound itch starts acting up, there’s way worse films with far fewer body counts. Seriously, this has more kills in it than most films in the Friday the 13th series.

Grade: D+

Jul. 22—Bio Zombie (1998)

Bio Zombie is Dawn of the Dead starring the insufferable teens from Attack the Block except unlike that film, you won’t grow to like any of these characters by the end. Everyone in this is either a petty thief, a creepy incel, an annoying prostitute or a piece of shit pimp. They’re all terrible and the film spends way too much time with them before zombie shit happens. And the zombie filled third act isn’t even that good to justify the wait. Skip this and watch I Am A Hero instead.

Grade: D

Jul. 23—The Visitors (1988)

Frank, Sara and their two children have recently moved into the house of their dreams on the countryside. After a couple of days, Frank begins hearing unexplained noises in the attic, the wallpaper keeps falling off his walls and his children swear they see things. After days of putting up with this and his sanity starting to slip, he contacts a professional ghost hunter to finally get to the bottom of this. There’s nothing wrong with slow burn horror films if there executed correctly. I’m all for a film slowly cultivating suspense or dread, or for a film to keep me guessing what’s going to happen next but there’s a difference between a slow burn and a flat line.

I’m supposed to feel dread or suspense or something to get me excited for the next scene but this doesn’t do anything. A guy thinks his house is haunted, some minor inconveniences happen, he calls a ghost hunter, shit slightly gets crazy, the end. There’s nothing to this movie. Wallpaper falls off of the walls and there’s some shuffling happening in the attic. That’s honestly the extent of the paranormal activity that happens. That’s it. Nothing happens in this film till the last fifteen minutes and the last fifteen minutes aren’t even that good. This film makes Ti West’s filmography seem exciting by comparison

Grade: F

Jul. 24—American Gothic (1987)

A group of “teens” run afoul of a family of religious wackadoos living in the middle of the woods. I’m an easy mark when it comes to horrible 80s horror movies, so as long as a film provides slightly more than the bare minimum, I’ll most likely enjoy it. Or at the very least, I won’t want to pray for the sweet release of death. American Gothic rides that line pretty hard. It does just enough to be considered a horror movie. It’s like that douche bag who goes to the Halloween party wearing a t-shirt that says “lazy Halloween costume” but the douche bag is a movie and the t-shirt has a picture of a horror movie on it. There’s some kills, there’s some actors you kinda know in it (Rod Steiger! Yvonne De Carlo! Michael J Pollard!) and that’s pretty much it. It does have an interesting third act I didn’t see coming but that’s nowhere near enough to recommend it.

Grade: D

Jul. 25—Foes (1977)

I really try to avoid using other films as reference points in my write ups because while it is incredibly useful sometimes, it’s also a bit lazy. Referring to a film as a better version of this or a worse version of that, is a tad reductive. Every film, either good or bad, should be judged on its own and not against something similar that did what it did better or worse. Now, having said all that, this film is exactly like Phase IV but with aliens instead of hyper intelligent ants. They’re so similar, that I honestly can’t tell you which one is the good version of the story and which one is the bad one.

Both films involve three people trapped in an isolated location by a a force far more advanced than they are. Both have multiple escape attempts that are easily foiled and the malevolent beings in each film seem to want something more than to just kill the main characters. They’re observing them for some reason. Foes isn’t a good movie per se, but it’s trying to do something a bit different than the typical alien invasion flick and for that, I give it a mild recommendation

Important note: do NOT watch the theatrical cut. The studio added twenty more minutes of random soldiers dumping unnecessary exposition all over the place. The director’s cut tells you nothing is a far more ambiguous film.

Grade: D

Jul. 26—Twisted Nightmare (1987)

Twisted Nightmare, like many of the films I saw this month, is the kind of horror film you stumble across out of pure desperation. That bottom of the rental store shelf filler you pick because you’ve seen every other major slasher but since you’re in the mood for something new, are now forced to roll the dice on some obscurity nobodies heard of before. You know going in that the acting will be terrible, that the direction, if you’re lucky, will be serviceable and that there will be tits in place of plot and originality. You hope the kills will at least be plentiful or sufficiently gory to offset the inevitable boredom. If you can just get some nice looking titties and a moderately sized pile of dead teens, you’ll consider it a win. It’ll be a pyrrhic victory but a victory nonetheless. And that’s Twisted Nightmare—a pyrrhic victory in film form. You get what you wanted out of it but at what cost?

Grade: D

Jul. 27—Juan of the Dead (2011)

Two middle-age layabouts decide to open up a zombie killing service after the government all but ignore them declaring the flesh eaters “U.S. funded political dissidents.” If you couldn’t tell by that description, the film is a political satire but it never hits the audience over the head with its message. It saves the hitting for the zombies and that’s what makes up the meat of the comedy. The various ways in which the undead are dispatched is a sight to see. Never has a slingshot been more deadly or nunchucks more hilarious. The characters anchor it, the political message elevates it and the heart sets it apart.

Grade: B

Jul. 28—The Wind (2019)

Westerns aren’t really being made anymore and when they were, they still barely tipped their toes outside of action. You would think that with over 300 films and shows produced over a 35+ year span, more filmmakers would use that setting as a horror film but outside of a handful, the Western Horror subgenre is pretty much non-existent. Which makes The Wind the best by default. But even if there was a healthy market of them, it would still be a strong contender. While every other film in the subgenre deals with fears of the “other” (cannibals, Native Americans, troglodytes, etc.) The Wind is all about the overwhelming vastness of the prairie and how fast loneliness can turn into madness. Methodically paced and overwhelmingly tense, The Wind is indie horror at its finest.

Grade: B

Jul. 29—Better Watch Out (2016)

A teenager (Olivia DeJonge) is babysitting a 12-year old boy (Levi Miller) when they both realize that someone outside is watching them. To give away any more of the plot would be criminal, just know that the film is a hardcore reimagining of Home Alone but as a grisly horror thriller. Every ten minutes you’ll either scream “what the fuck” or “holy shit” or you’ll be covering your eyes to shield you from the multiple gruesome acts of violence peppered throughout. Although it probably won’t become your new holiday tradition, it is good enough to be in the conversation of the best Christmas horror films ever made.

Grade: B

Jul. 30—Even the Wind is Afraid (1968)

A group of female college students decide to investigate a local tower that has figured prominently in reoccurring dreams one of the girls is having. Consisting of a hanged woman’s body, the dream is too disturbing for young Claudia (Alicia Bonet) to bare. Will she, with the help of her friends, solve the mystery of the mysterious hanged woman or will she be driven insane by the visions that torment her every night? A classic of Mexican horror cinema, Even the Wind is Afraid has been compared to similar ghost films such as the Haunting and the Innocents by critics and horror fans alike and I think the comparisons are apt. Like those films, it isn’t scary and it is a bit slow but the atmosphere is unexcelled and the mood it creates is a notch below spine-tingling.

Grade: B

Jul. 31—Excision (2012)

“Solely based on the definition, I don’t know a teenager that doesn’t fit the profile of a sociopath” Struggling with the pressures of fitting into high school, pleasing her mother and a burning desire to lose her virginity, alienated teen Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) retreats more and more into her own fantasies until the line between what’s real and imagined becomes impossible to distinguish. A deeply unsettling portrait of a girl desperately trying to keep it together while everything around her is trying to break her down, Excision is a delightfully fucked up fantasy that’s not afraid to go all the way. This is the film Donnie Darko tried and failed to be.

Grade: B

What did you watch last month?

Author: Sailor Monsoon

I stab.